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Photo Credit: Sony

“Madame Web:” a film with too many mistakes. (Op-Ed)

Warning: Mild spoilers for “Madame Web.”

“Madame Web” is hilarious, but it’s not a comedy. After the stellar flop of 2022’s “Morbius,” Sony’s latest Marvel film is a huge letdown. It’s a soulless film and a huge slap in the face to fans who love Marvel comics. With a current score of 13% on Rotten Tomatoes, there must be a reason why this movie about a beloved, iconic comic book character failed.

Dakota Johnson stars as Cassie Web, a paramedic who suddenly gains the power to see into the future after a near-death experience. The film’s villain, Ezekiel Sims (Tahir Rahim), has no real motive for being evil other than wanting to kill three teenage girls who he believes will murder him in the future. Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, and Celeste O’Connor take on the roles of Julia Carpenter, Anya Corazon, and Mattie Franklin respectively; the Spider-Women proudly displayed in “Madame Web’s” promotional content.

The dialogue is laughably bad, with awkward, stunted lines that feel AI-generated. In one scene, Julia tells Cassie “I’m so sorry,” and Cassie replies without a lick of emotion, “You should be so sorry. You should be sorry.” This is meant to be a serious, action-packed movie, not one that makes audiences giggle at its absurdity. The poor ADR given to Tahar Rahim is a glaring misstep. It’s as if they completely gave up during the end stage of production. His lips move, but the audio does not match up in any capacity. The product placement of Pepsi is distracting and tacky; the final battle takes place in front of a large Pepsi-Cola sign.

If you have seen the trailer, you’ve seen every shot of the Spider-Women in their iconic suits. That’s right, the girls do not gain powers during the entire film, and they are only shown suited up in Cassie and Ezekiel’s visions of the future. Marvel fans feel deceived, and rightfully so.

Director S. J. Clarkson wasted the talent of Emma Roberts (Mary Parker) and Adam Scott (Ben Parker), placing them as background characters who only exist in the film to become Peter Parker’s mother and uncle. Yet, when Mary gives birth, the baby remains unnamed. Clarkson is insistent that “Madame Web” is a standalone film. “Well, I thought it would be a bit greedy to do four origin stories,” she told Comic Book, “And I think it wouldn’t do any of them justice to try and sort of crowbar or cram it all into one movie.”

If this is a standalone film with no connection to the other Sony spider-spinoffs, why include Mary and Ben Parker? Why “tease” us with the Spider-Women in the first place?

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